Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Les demoiselles d'Avignon

Living in Avignon is like walking through history on a daily basis. It's also being blessed by beauty at every other street corner. Since Avignon was home to the Popes in the 14th-15th centuries, religious art is everywhere. The number of churches per square kilometre must be one of the highest in the world. This Virgin Mary carrying infant Jesus is the centerpiece of St Peter's church's façade, a masterpiece of flamboyant gothic architecture. I visited her this afternoon on a short walk after lunch. The mother's soft features and gentle expression, the delicate folds of her dress, the cute naked body of her baby all contribute to making her for me one of Avignon's most touching pieces of architecture.

Vivre à Avignon, c'est comme parcourir au quotidien un livre d'histoire. C'est aussi rencontrer la beauté presque à chaque coin de rue. Depuis que les Papes ont élu domicile ici entre le XIVe et le XVe siècles , l'art religieux est partout. Dans la vieille ville le nombre d'églises au kilomètre carré doit être l'un des plus élevés du monde. Cette délicieuse vierge à l'enfant orne le centre de la façade de l'église St Pierre, une merveille du gothique flamboyant. Je suis passée la voir cet après-midi, lors d'une petite promenade après le déjeuner. La douceur qui en émane, la délicatesse des traits, le réalisme du corps de l'enfant en font pour moi l'une des pièces les plus touchantes de l'architecture avignonnaise.

But religious statues aren't reserved to churches and chapels alone. Many of the old city's façades display a small niche with a saint as a blessing on the house. They come in many styles, some very simple and naive, some more ornate, always charming. This one in rue du Four is one of my favourites because of its elegant frame of striped shadows and grey shutters.
vierge marie
Mais la statuaire religieuse n'est pas réservée aux églises et aux chapelles. De très nombreuses façades de la vieille ville portent une petite niche abritant une sainte destinée à bénir la maison. Certaines sont simples et naïves, d'autres plus richement sculptées, toutes sont émouvantes. Celle-ci, rue du Four, est une de mes préférées à cause de son élégant encadrement d'ombres rayées et de volets gris.

29 comments:

Mme Benaut said...

Very, very beautiful, Nathalie. Bravo!

Olivier said...

cette statue est très belle. j'aime l'encadrement, on a l'impression de voir des œuvres en dentelle.
La dernière photo est très réussie, tu as su trouve l'angle. on en trouve beaucoup dans les villages du sud ouest, de ces statues en hommage à un saint ou a une sainte dans des petites niches.

claude said...

C'est de tout beauté, Nathalie ! Merci pour ces excellents photos et ces jolies demoiselles !

oldmanlincoln said...

The quality of the sculpture is superior and for the popes is probably the reason. I always wonder who decides on the costumes an artist chiseled in stone or painted with brushes because to my knowledge, limited of course, there were no historical picture books depicting the infant Jesus or his mom, Mary and what they wore or didn't wear must be human perception; all beit, guessing. I don't suppose Jesus wore a diaper and have long suspected some diaper company will, eventually, show him in their diaper. I do know that when I painted, I looked to the masters for clothing ideas and came away realizing that they used the clothing people around them wore and not historically accurate dress.

To me, your photograph is beautiful and the work it represents is very nice to see, but as always I am asking these questions. Thanks for showing it. I really enjoyed this post because it got my mind in gear and that is working again. LOL

Abraham Lincoln

lumer said...

Excellentes photos sur le patrimoine d'Avignon, amplifié par le talent narratif et photographique de Nathalie. Amicalement

Peter said...

I believe it’s rather easy to fall in love with a place like Avignon, especially if one has the chance, like you, to live intra muros and to be there not only during the festival season. (I know, you knew the place also from before...) Do you start to less regret Australia?

These sculptures are really nice!

The smaller ones you can still find on a number of old buildings (even in Paris), unfortunately often in rather bad shape.

Me said...

My quaint, cozy little town of Dunedin seems so plain compared to all this...

Lovely photographs Nathalie.

Jilly said...

Avignon is so beautiful and you show it to us in the most wonderful way and with such well-written commentaries to go along with your lovely photographs. This is such a beautiful statue - as is the little one on the side of the house.

Uplifting - fabulous, Nathalie.

alice said...

De l'avantage de se promener le nez en l'air!

Bergson said...

La première est somptueuse.

Fait attention à pas avoir d'accident ;_)

Cergie said...

Quel visage expressif de la vierge à l'enfant, quel magnifique travail de drapé. Le poupon est assez poupon, suivant les critères de bonne santé de l'époque
Je suis frappée par la différence de tonalité entre la pierre du bâtiment et celle de la statue, peut être d'une pierre plus friable plus souple.
Et toujours étonnée que tu arrives à si bien prendre de la hauteur pour "capturer" tes sujets en face(photo du haut)
Tu te déplaces avec une échelle ?

Nathalie said...

Non Cergie je n'ai pas d'échelle mais je lève les bras très haut au-dessus de ma tête !

Oui, étonnante en effet la différence de couleur de la pierre, une carrière différente sans doute ?

ruth said...

The Mary and infant statue is just gorgeous, but I have to laugh at the way she is holding that chubby little Jesus. The sculptor didn't really get it realistically, did he? Looks so effortless, him sitting there on her hand as she looks away nonchalantly. :)

Remember holding your babies with one arm?

I don't mean to take away from the beautiful art of Avignon. It must be a constant distraction just walking down the street, but a heavenly one.

Norman said...

It wouldn't do, as some suggest, for the mother and babe to look too realistic. After all, it would have been completely unacceptable in the Middle Ages to have had Jewish representations of Christianity's origins.

Even in the relatively more relaxed modern times, having Christ and Mary portrayed realistically as Jewish is probably still a bridge too far for many faithful adherents?

Nathalie said...

Ruth yes I agree with you. Depends on the baby's age I guess. When she's a real baby you need to hold her tight or she will lose her balance. When she's older she will sit quite steadily but will probably be too heavy for you to hold with only one arm!!! So the statue is wrong either way!

Kate said...

Whether it is authentic does not take away from the beauty of the statue. It is a wonderful piece of art and thank you for showing it to us!

lasiate said...

un bien belle ballade en compagnie de la Mère Sainte! et biein sur meilleurs voeux

vera said...

flamboyante, mais dans toutes les lourdeurs des maternités qui n ont pas fait du vélo après....prefere de loin les flamboyantes du nord est, Reims et strasbourg.. :-))

Nathalie said...

Oh t'exagères Vera, elle a les seins lourds mais la taille fine !

Maxime said...

La sainte vierge était-elle une demoiselle ? Voici un titre qui pourrait t'attirer les foudres du vatican.
En tout cas, à la porteuse de bambin joufflu, je préfère la dernière, notamment pour les mêmes raisons que toi, et aussi pour son humilité, plus proche du contexte.
Par contre les petits diablotins (ou quelque personnages que ce soit) que l'on distingue sur les portes me remplissent de joie !

Nathalie said...

Maxime tu as été le seul (ou le premier) à relever le caractère iconoclaste de mon titre ! Assez voulu je dois dire...

alexander said...

Beautiful photos.
The place is lovely.
Good shots!

Alexander
Alex's World!

isabella said...

To paraphrase your eloquent statement, visiting Provence was like walking through history to me!
And the sheer beauty of the region made my hear swell...I am so glad it is not lost on the natives, like you ;-)

edwin s said...

bonjour mate!

'Ow 'ave you been? I was recently tagged by Thiên and felt compelled to do it. I usually pay no attention to these things but she's nice and all that...

What did I do? I tagged you!

Please pop into KLDP and have a look at what you have to do if you decide to do it.

Hope you're enjoying a lovely Sunday.

love always.

April said...

Yes, that ensemble of statues is really a masterpiece, especially the dress. To imagine that it's made of stone!

Richard said...

Happy New Year (belatedly) Nathalie! I enjoy the historical references here, and the photos. I was struck by the difference between the rather earthy carvings on the doors, and the statue of the virgin. In the shots on the the church's website you can clearly see the clash. The doors remind me of the earlier Cluny style

Sally said...

Ah, such serene motherhood. I am sure there must have been moments like that!! In between all the hard work bits!

fardoise said...

Belles photos pour Muad et son musée à ciel ouvert.

ed said...

A片,A片,成人網站,成人影片,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人

a片,色情影片,情色電影,a片,色情,情色網,情色,av,av女優,成人影城,成人,色情a片,日本av,免費成人影片,成人影片,情色a片,sex,免費a片,a片下載,免費a片下載,成人網站,做愛,自拍

情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣,情趣,情趣用品

視訊聊天室

情色,AV女優,UT聊天室,聊天室,A片,視訊聊天室


UT聊天室,視訊聊天室,辣妹視訊,視訊辣妹,情色視訊,視訊,080視訊聊天室,視訊交友90739,美女視訊,視訊美女,免費視訊聊天室,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天,視訊交友網,視訊交友,情人視訊網,成人視訊,哈啦聊天室,UT聊天室,豆豆聊天室,
聊天室,聊天,色情聊天室,色情,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,柔情聊天網,小高聊天室,上班族聊天室,080中部人聊天室,中部人聊天室,成人聊天室,成人

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails